Let’s get back to business!
Really, what are we going to do? Sit here on our hands all summer and let Nick Ferraro and Monica Grasso and Fredo and Johnny Friday and Grant Lampton and all the other great singers carry us on their backs as they belt their hearts out in front of Penuche’s every night?
It’s well past time we step it up and pitch in. Buy them all a drink, and while we’re at it, let’s give everyone in the Granite State a great show, one that meets the needs of all music lovers from the city to the coast and beyond.
Not since March 7th has GSM gone on the road and done a tribute show. Last time we held court was at the Rex Theatre for a Rolling Stones Tribute and the crowd ended up having to peel its teeth off the rug after a serious jaw-dropping 25-song extravaganza performed by four delicious bands.
So, after sliding notes under the door out front the Rex for 13 straight weeks during COVID, trying to coax Chuck Stergiou, the director of the place, into letting us do another show — safely and with distance — finally he got back and laid it all out.
No bands. Half capacity, all tables, no standing, seats up top spaced out, no drunken bunches of any sort.
What do we have in mind?
Only an evening of intimacy, revelation, admiration and interpretation.
Let’s do it.
A “guitar pull” style show then, just like my buddy Liam loves. Four seats, a half-moon on stage, each with a mic stand before them. That’s it. Straight up, no ice. All women, too. The best of the best female singer-songwriters from the region with country on their minds. Classic country, old-school country with a brawny elegance to it. And only to be performed by those possessed with outlaw blood, the kind that flows from the canyons in California to the streets of Virginia and the fields of Tennessee.
A show with intimacy, where the singers explain why the songs they chose to sing affect them so deeply. Why from hearing the first note of a Patsy Cline song did you fall in love with all her strengths? Why out of a 100 Dolly songs did you choose Jolene? Is it Patty Griffin’s angular voice or Loretta’s “take no shit” attitude that allows you to bend the knee?
Something like that.
Jasmine Mann, Marjorie Senet, Meaghan Casey and the revered Liz Frame, leading boss of the legendary Kickers, all will take the stage simultaneously this Saturday night at the Rex Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Each will trade stories and songs back and forth and talk about the influence “classic country” music has had on their lives and careers. It’ll be like a big living room show, safely nuzzled into a nest of cautious confinement in downtown Manchester.
A little about each performer and songs they chose:
Jasmine Mann: Her voice will leave you in tears. Seen it done. Don’t dare her. Jazzy will knock out some June Carter, Dolly Parton, a deep cut from Patty Griffin and one from Miss Loretta Lynn. She demoed one of the songs on GSM radio show last week and she was mesmerizing as always. Buckle up, Jazzy is in the house!
Liz Frame: As mentioned, off the chain great. I couldn’t believe we landed her, to be honest. The Newburyport staple has been at the roots/country game a good while, and I can only imagine what the matriarch has in store for us as she digs deep into Tammy Wynette, Sammi Smith, Emmylou and Linda Ronstadt.
Marjorie Senet: A seacoast recording artist who brings the tickle, the cut, the honky-tonk grand feel of the Old Opry right into your ears and hearts. As bandleader of the Broken-Home Boys, Senet has been twanging it out all around the region for a few years now. Having never seen her play live but loved her videos, the energy she put out and the vibe she presented, Senet was a “must get” for this tribute show. And we got her! Senet will take on Wanda Jackson, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette.
Meaghan Casey: Maybe the most outlaw of the bunch. Coming up from Quincy, Mass, Casey’s sweet as honey but can sing with the sting of a snake bite. Her music is birthed out of the music of some of the leading outlaw female singers of all time. And she will sing about a “Kentucky Girl,” “Miss Ohio,” a place called “Fist City,” some Kitty Wells and maybe Meaghan will get a little “Craaaaazy. Crazy for feelin’….” in the end.
The local music scene has taken a big hit during the COVID and we need to put some “butts in the seats.” We want to remind y’all of the magic that can be hoisted upon your laps if you just let it happen. Unpack your bag, forget the polls, the fears, the worries, shut it all off for 2-hours and let these four talented women wash it all away.
We would greatly appreciate it.
The Women of Classic Country Music
Rex Theatre, Manchester.
Saturday, August 22
Tickets are $25.
Call 668-5588 for purchase.
Rob Azevedo can be reached at email@example.com